For the Art: And the greater good

Megan van Wyk - Theatremaker

I love children.

And I love theatre.

And I strongly believe in the role theatre can play in the life of a young person coming to terms with the world. It can encourage play and imagination, fire up a sense of magic, build pathways for understanding human nature and countless other principles, as well as teaching important inter- and intrapersonal skills.
Most of the theatre projects aimed at young audiences I’ve been involved in have been fun and boisterous and very much in line with what people generally think of when children’s theatre is mentioned.

That said, the project I’ve fallen head-first into is very serious children’s theatre.
The play, a new work by Eliot Moleba in association with ASSITEJ ZA, is called The Orphan of Gaza and will premiere at the National School of the Arts Downstairs Theatre on the 16th of June.

Megan van Wyk & Nidaa Husain featured in Eliot Moleba play Orphan of Gaza The Orphan of Gaza

I’m deeply…

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The Orphan of Gaza

Extra, extra, read all about!

We premier a new play, The Orphan of Gaza, with the generous support of ASSITEJ SA and CurioCity Backpackers.

Details of the premier at The National School of the Arts. This play is specifically targeting 7-10 year olds.
Details of the premier at The National School of the Arts. This play is specifically targeting 7-10 year olds.

The Play:

After a rocket attack, a little girl is told that her parents have gone to a better place. Armed with a makeshift aircraft, helmet, GPS and a cockpit full of courage, she and her pet plot a journey to search for them.

Meet the creative team:

Cast                : Nidaa Husian and Megan Van Wyk

Writers            : Eliot Moleba

Dramaturge   : Charlotte Loriot

Director          : Eliot Moleba

Stage Manager: Nobantu Shabangu and Baeletsi Tsatsi

To book/RSVP your seat and your children, nephews, nieces, and cats, please contact me on:

Email: info(at)eliotmoleba(dot)com

Why we need the Next Generation!

Next Generation is a programme pioneered by ASSITEJ (The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) which brings young and emerging artists from different walks of life together to take part in an exchange of ideas, stories, practices, and most importantly, inspiration. These artists meet, eat, sleep, cry, laugh, joke, drink, play, live, and spend a week together; watching performances and engaging in formal and informal critical discussions about how they receive and make theatre. It is an inspiring week of total immersion into a new exciting world where they can interact with the ASSITEJ global community. The programme is also part of an international festival that showcases theatre productions from different corners of the world, and the participants receive an opportunity to experience the rich, diverse, high quality and cutting edge theatrical delights of TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences). If you ever thought TYA was a myth, unprofessional and low quality or not cutting edge, just a day of such a nuanced, stimulating and thrilling experience would gratify the soul and leave you hungry for more!

ASSITEJ is a great community of organisations, theatre companies, and above all, people who share a deep and profound passion for theatre for the young. It is a network that brings these stakeholders and the Next Generation together – to share their experiences and expertise. It is a platform that provides space for a critical dialogue about ideas that should shape the world of the young, and the future. That is why Next Generation plays a pivotal role in the ASSITEJ community. We cannot shape the future without opening a strategic negotiation between the young and the old, the audience and the artist, the parent and the child, the sponsor/funder and the promoter, etc. It is only by fostering these lines and bringing them into a dialogue can we build a community that is strong and connected with capacity to move together as a movement, consciousness and wave across cultures, seas, borders, politics, practices, experiments, and especially, thinking. We can only grow and go further when we move together as one community. Like the African proverb goes; if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. By enabling young and emerging artists to connect, ASSITEJ is unifying new voices to see, hear and inspire each other, so that they can find synergies and form new collaborations to grow the ASSITEJ family.

ASSITEJ has done well to connect our little pockets into a global community. Individually, we, as the Next Generation, are what ASSITEJ President, Yvette Hardie, calls “ripples”. Of course, ripples, alone, can’t move the sea, because they are mere droplets. As such, if we ripple alone in our own worlds we are hardly ever going to affect the tide, and despite all our efforts, the sea will remain calm. But we must not forget that for the sea to move it needs the initial ripple to set the wave off – and every great wave is made up of tiny little droplets – alone, these droplets can only ripple, but together they form a Mighty wave, a wave big enough to move the sea. And this is the critical role of ASSITEJ international; to connect all the tiny droplets and mould them into waves. This is why Next Generation needs to be, and continues to grow as, one of the programmes at the core of ASSITEJ and its congress meetings.

The 18th ASSITEJ Congress and Next Generation Warsaw (as part of the Korczak Festival), and all the previous programmes, have played a crucial and central role in bringing these ripples together. The ripples connect with each other and the ASSITEJ international community to form a wave; I have had the great privilege to attend the Next Generation programme in Poland and for a week, Warsaw was under siege, hit by wave-storms, the seismic kinds that moved and shook the city and provided a platform to bond the entire ASSITEJ-related TYA industry. Given its support by all ASSITEJ member states and its strategic position that coincides with an international TYA festival that brings local and international artists, productions, audiences, theatres, organisations and business, the Next Generation programme has become an interface that allows emerging artists to engage with all the stakeholders and ASSITEJ’s global artistic community and movement. This programme does more than just to connect the ripples, but it also builds water tight bridges across the sea. It is this bridge that connects ASSITEJ’s global community.

Meet the Next Generation Warsaw participants:

ASSITEJ Next Generation Warsaw 2014 from Thom Browning on Vimeo.

When you look at me you may only see a small, tiny droplet that you probably cannot see with a naked eye, and that’s ok. It’s enough for me, because I know that I’m part of something bigger, something stronger, something united – ASSITEJ and the Next Generation – my home. And at home you shall not miss me – even with your naked eye – because with my family besides me, I have the strength and size of a tsunami. I’m part of a giant wave that can tumble anything in its way, a wave that move mountains and seas, and beyond that, I’m part of a wave that can inspire a child, ignite his curiosity, tease her imagination, and broaden a child’s world to new possibilities. This is me. This is who I am. This is what I am. This is what I can do. This is the Next Generation. I am the Next Generation! Are you? Join us now! Click here: ASSITEJ.

Alongside the Next Generation programme, ASSITEJ promotes the NEXT GENERATION PLACEMENTS. The placements provide emerging theatre artists, producers and administrators with opportunities for international mobility within the field of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) and in order to encourage contact and exchange between experienced and emerging artists. This is an opportunity to further explore, share experiences, learn and work with artists in other countries within the framework of different projects such as festivals, seminars, workshops, forums, productions, etc.

Having had the privilege to experience the Next Generation programme (Warsaw) and Placement (Arad Goch, Wales), I found that the programmes work very well together to support emerging artists because it gives us a chance to explore and connect with ASSITEJ’s global community and the TYA world; broaden our network and experience something new. This is one of those moments when the droplets connect and pave way for magical things to happen. And it was this experience (especially the theme of Arad Goch’s festival, AGOR DRYSAU-OPENING DOORS) that has inspired me to ‘open’ my own door to give other emerging artists an opportunity to collaborate with South Africa and its local talents. As a result, I will be hosting a cross-cultural collaboration with Christopher Harris, a Welsh actor/writer/director. Together we are going to create a new piece of theatre for the young, possibly aimed at a teenage audience. Additionally, to connect this project to more ripples, we have also opened the collaboration to other international artists. Please see a brief description of the project below:

Eliot Moleba (South Africa) and Christopher Harris (Wales) met at Arad Goch and decided to co-create a production for young audiences together. ASSITEJ SA is supporting the development of this project and will oversee the creative process, since Eliot is also a member of ASSITEJ SA and a participant in our Inspiring a Generation programme. ASSITEJ SA is assisting Eliot and Chris (both writer/actor/directors) to develop this production with input from other professionals. The play will be a two-hander, featuring Chris and a South African actor, to be cast. We are looking for a dramaturg and a designer from the Next Generation programme to be part of this creation process in South Africa. The opportunity will include an 8 week process of creation and performances in Johannesburg, Cape Town and at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown 2015. The international company will be housed in Johannesburg for the duration of the creation period.

For more info, please visit:
SA/Welsh collaboration

SO WHY DO WE NEED THE NEXT GENERATION?
To cultivate an emerging generation of artists who are committed to advance the thinking, research and practice of theatre for young audiences. To give young people opportunities to meet, learn and inspire each other – across borders and cultures – to connect the ripples and promote national, continental and international collaborations in order to ensure that young artists share, build and grow together as a collective; fostering a global network and community. Above all, to support young artists who not only recognise and advocate theatre as one of the necessary activity for every child’s development, but is also actively involved in creating cutting edge work that provides access to theatre for the young. ASSITEJ is playing its part. Are you?

There has truly never been a more perfect timing to join the ASSITEJ family. To know more about how you can be a part of this exciting journey, visit ASSITEJ.

The Man In The Green Jacket (Photos)

The Man In The Green Jacket
Oupa takes a long range ball and John makes a save!
What a spectacular dive by the number one goalkeeper!

 

Oupa takes a shot
The Man In The Green Jacket
The final monologue
The father, alone.
The face of a revolution
John dancing with the dress of his late wife
The conflict begins
Oupa seems the hidden picture of his mum
Surprised John is angry

Oupa and his ‘mum’
Oupa prays
Oupa playing soccer, showing off his skill
Oupa is dead, John receives his green jacket
Keeping the promise; watering the pot-plants
Oupa challenges John
Oupa finds John dancing, but he is unaware of him
John Ledwaba
John, alone, again.
John stands for himself
John speaks
John on his black label
John Ledwaba
Putting on the candle
John finds the key to his wife’s old pictures
John and a mid-night drink
John dancing continues
John and Oupa, world apart
John and Oupa; trying to understand your father
Proud moment: Father and son
And so the arguing grows
They celebrate their goal
The war is on
The militant Oupa
John Ledwaba

Oupa smiles
Oupa smiles

The Man In The Green Jacket

The Marikana Scholarship Fund

(click on the link to see a clip of the show)

We are using this play to promote awareness about the implications of how the Marikana massacre will affect the families left behind. But more importantly, we will collect donations that will go to the education of the children left behind.

The Fund will be collecting donations both locally and internationally to support the education of the children of those who died in the Marikana tragedy, with the hope of raising enough funds to cater for primary, secondary and tertiary education. To make donations as an individual or an organisation, please see the details below:

The bank details for deposits are:
Education Africa
First National Bank
Branch: Melville
Branch Code: 256505
Account number: 50520051851
SWIFT number: FIRNZAJJ (overseas deposits)
Reference: The Marikana Fund – surname

Education Africa can issue section 18A certificates to any South African donors which are tax deductible.

Tax incentives are also available to US (501 3C) and UK (charitable status) donors – these deposit will have to be made directly to these offices. Should you require more info, please contact Education Africa’s Operations Director, Linda Gould on the following details:

Email: Linda(at)educationafrica(dot)org

Tel: 011 685 7300
Fax: 011 783 1714

The Man In The Green Jacket

Eliot Moleba

(in association with Drama For Life and Education Africa)

Presents

THE MAN IN THE GREEN JACKET

He is finally here. If you're in Joburg this October, please join us for the premiere of my new production.
He is finally here. If you’re in Joburg this October, please join us for the premiere of my new production.

In the end, we must all move on. Well. Sort of.

Eliot Moleba premiers his new play, The Man In The Green Jacket, taking place at the Joburg Theatre (Space.com), from the 23rd – 27th October, 2013, and the production will feature an exceptional cast of Pusetso Thibedi and Tau Maserumule.

Written, in part, as a response to the Marikana massacre, the play asks whether there can be growth through tragedy. It also poses questions of our responsibility, as a society, in the aftermath of Marikana, especially the continuing challenges that face the affected families and children.

“For its often refreshing originality, its successful subtleties of theme and character

and its determination to provoke discussion rather

than violence; I think The Man in the Green Jacket

is a must see play.”

– Maurice Posniak

Ticket           : R100 pp

Booking       : www.joburgtheatre.com or call 0861 670 670

Follow the event on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/610581345646609/

The play is promoting awareness nationally about the impact of the Marikana massacre on the families left behind. In partnership with Education Africa, we’ve also founded The Marikana Scholarship Fund to collect donations that will go to the educational needs of the affected children. This scholarship fund is founded on the belief that unless something is done to secure these children’s future, the perpetual cycle of illiteracy and unemployment will continue to rise.

For more info about the show, please contact:

Eliot Moleba (Director/Writer)

The Ask

The Do School

Eliot Moleba:

He studied Theater Directing at University of the Witwatersrand and recently completed a tour of his play “Sizwe Banzi is Alive”.

Eliot’s venture is to work with Drama for Life, an organization promoting social transformation, to create a play in response to the Marikana tragedy where 45 striking miners were shot during a confrontation with the police. His goal is to use the play to raise awareness and start a large fundraising campaign for the benefit of the children of the deceased.

http://thedoschool.org/people/eliot-moleba/

Theatre For Change

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